Story for the Day: Sesterna
Sesterna is a small country northwest of Marridon. They are part of the Triumvirate, including Marridon and Balletrim, but no one takes them seriously. Who could with a court like this:
The daily proceedings in Sesterna were fatiguing at best. Unlike the customary measures in the Frewyn courts which attended to the matters of the kingdom, Sesterna’s main concerns must be provincial, as Marridon was their sovereign and contended all matters belonging to their collected peoples within the Chambers. Sesterna did have representatives sitting in the Chambers’ seats, but their presence was little more than a matter of course: they waved, they smiled, they wore their hats and banged their gavels, they felt important, and here was all their concern. Their voice was only significant with regard to Triumvirate business; had they a matter of state to discuss, this was to be debated privately within their own judiciary means, and if the dispute had expatiated beyond the realm that their small minds could comprehend, only then was it brought to the Chambers for the whole of the hall to make a tolerable fuss about.
After having endured one hour of proceedings, the party now understood why Marridon had little regard for Sesterna. Their court seemed to be a mere travesty of the one in Frewyn: announcements were shouted over the chattering din of the royal box, the judge napped while the herald read the given case, the plaintiff was ushered into the hall by two guards garmented in striped stockings and befeathered hats, the attorneys tried to attend over their game of cards, and once the proceedings had at last got on, the mockery only further ensued. The judge read his newspaper over his spectacles while the plaintiff made his plea, the two attorneys once roused made constant objections toward one another without having grounds for them, the Sesternese nobles yawned and waved their fans, and those who came the report of the case ate their meals of sweet meats and sausage pies without being able to hear over their strident mastication. They would think of something or other to report- they always had once the judge called an end to the proceedings and the herald cried out the verdict- and though they could have diversion enough in the measures to excite their pens to paper before the presses should close for the day, the party could have no share in their amusement. Here was a pageant of nonsense, thrown together as a requirement merely to give the nobles a somewhere to go and the judge a something to do. Nay, their attendance was even a pretense of their consequence, for though they must attend the courts, there was nothing to hinder them from bringing their sense of do-nothingness thither. It was a colourful exhibition, a spectacle to be sat out and derided, a something to give substance to their otherwise languid sufferance. Everything that must be stated for the purpose of the court was shouted in a shrieking pitch, every plaintiff who entered was treated with an air of affected indifference, every peasant’s appeal was made in fear of ever being heard, and every verdict ended with an unconcerned conclusion, the next victim ushered into the hall as the previous was being ushered out.